New Black Box Ruling Makes Mandate More Likely

New Black Box Ruling Makes Mandate More Likely

A ruling will take effect on October 1 regarding the use of event data recorders (EDRs), commonly called black boxes, setting the stage for the devices to be made mandatory.

The ruling, which was passed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will standardize data collected by the devices, specify who that information belongs to, how it can be retrieved and who can retrieve it. This isn’t the first time mandatory black box implementation has popped up in the last few months, but this is the latest step in making Bill 1838 feasible.

In case you aren’t up on your pending legislation, that bill proposed to make black boxes mandatory in all new cars starting in 2015. The current ruling doesn’t mandate that, but by standardizing everything about the devices and how they are used, it makes industry-wide implementation more feasible.

What you might not know is that most cars have an EDR of some kind, but this ruling will ensure the following data is recorded:

  • The crash force in forward and side directions
  • The duration of the crash event
  • Indicated vehicle speed
  • Accelerator position
  • Engine rpm
  • Brake application and anti-lock brake application
  • Steering wheel angle
  • Stability control engagement
  • Vehicle roll angle in the case of a roll over
  • Number of times the vehicle has been started
  • Driver and front-passenger seatbelt engagement and pretensioner or force-limiter engagement
  • Air bag deployment, speed and faults for all airbags
  • Front seat positions
  • Occupant size
  • Number of crashes (one or more impacts during the final crash event)